29 Oct 2008

UK extends work period for young New Zealanders

3:19 pm on 29 October 2008

The rules for young New Zealanders going to Britain for a working holiday are being changed so they can work for twice as long.

They are currently allowed one year of employment, and a further holiday year in the UK without working.

About 3000 working holiday visas are issued in New Zealand each year.

British High Commissioner George Fergusson says the scheme covering them will be replaced by a new youth mobility scheme for up to two years.

He says the OE tradition is an incredibly important one, for both Britons and New Zealanders.

The High Commission says the visa is expected to cost around $NZ270 compared with the $NZ554 under the previous scheme.

Applicants will have to prove they are a citizen of New Zealand, are between the ages of 18 and 30 and have the equivalent of $NZ4300 available to them, and not have previously visited Britain as a working holiday maker.

Full details of the scheme will be issued on 4 November.

The High Commission will accept visa applications from 27 November.